Re: Extropianism & Theology
Wed, 24 Feb 1999 07:43:39 EST

Adrian & Anders,

As someone with an interest in both >H and Theology, I couldn't resist joining in on this discussion. I think one of the first things I would ask of you is what you are using as initial parameters. Theology, if I remember correctly, means "The study of God (or gods)." This implies that you are predicting the existence and or emergence of a God or gods. So my first question is what criteria would a being have to meet to be classified as a god? There have been several such standards suggested. Two that seem to be fairly constant is Power and Worship. A god is thus defined as in some way being incredibly (transcendantly?) capable, and/or being worshipped. Given the strong libertarian and humanist background of Extropianism, worship might be something that Extropians might find unappealing (for to worship implies a level of submission, and to be worshipped implies having others dependent upon you). However, there is another way to look at the worship issue. If you think first what qualities are worthy of worship, by which I mean what principles (memes?) are you willing to give you life to and for (for some people, the answer would be none), now posit the possibility of a being or beings capable of exemplifying those principles perfectly, as well as having the power to back up those principles, then you might just have found that there is a God(s) to you.

Adrian, I believe you said you were interested in developing an Extropian Theology. This I imagine would have two main qualities, one would be a God or gods whom uphold Extropian values, and a Cosmology based on an Extropian worldview. In such a theology, I imagine a deity would begin in some material substrate and develop through an evolutionary process. In fact, intelligent life in this Universe might be considered the raw materials from which gods will develop somewhere on the other side of the Singularity. I agree with you that such a deity would likely not be very interested in worship. You may have some different starting points for the concept of a god, if so I would be very interested in discussing them. I also have some other ideas to discuss as per the Monotheism vs Pantheism debate, but it will have to wait for another post.

Glen Finney